With his recent streak of quality starts including a complete two-hit shutout of the Oakland A’s on Wednesday, Ervin Santana has become a hot topic for Minnesota Twins trade rumors.
According to some writers, it seems to be a forgone conclusion Santana will be packing his bags by the deadline.
And while the Minnesota Twins may potentially get a nice return for the pitcher, I can’t help but wonder how devastated would I be if the team fails to find a trade partner.
There are a few options here for Santana. The first one being he remains with the team for the remainder of the season and the Twins try to trade him during the offseason.
Next would be they simply hold onto him for next season and have another go at a postseason run.
The third and most likely scenario would be the team trades him this year.
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But would the team maximize his value by trading him during the season?
Either way, Santana has a few years left on his contract so it would not be a rental for the team receiving him.
That could be either good or bad for the Twins.
Teams may be more inclined to send better prospects and part with different pieces since they’ll be able to have Santana under contract for at least two more seasons.
However, a way it could work against the Minnesota Twins would be if their trade partner looks at Santana and sees him for what he is and has been since joining the club: a pitcher who is not getting any younger while putting together two mediocre seasons.
He is long gone from his days of 200+ strikeouts and has only won double digit games once in the last four seasons.
This may actually scare away teams from the idea of bringing on such a large contract.
So again, that raises the question.
Would it be devastating to the Minnesota Twins if Santana was not immediately dealt?
Personally, I don’t think it would hurt them to hold onto him if they can’t find the right trade and see if he can continue to improve over the season.
That would set up an interesting offseason where the Twins could look to maximize his value.
At this point, I think the higher trade priority would be Trevor Plouffe once healthy as he seems more likely to nab the Minnesota Twins a nice return as a solid defensive third baseman with some pop.